Written January 28, 2015
This isn't Pride and Prejudice....it's more a Chanel commercial for Tolstoy. The movie is very stylized to the detriment of characterization....Count Vronksy is a 19th Century club kid until he suddenly becomes emotionally adult (but nothing leads you to that conclusion) and the same goes with Anna, the dutiful wife who shuns Vronsky and then is suddenly in bed with him and on and on. I really liked Matthew Macfadyen (who teams up with Knightley again), as Anna's brother...I've never seen him so alive and animated (he usually seems dull and plodding). I'd say go see it if you like Tolstoy....but despite the beauty, I was struggling to literally stay awake at 10am on a Saturday morning.
Written April 28, 2015
The movie is too long, weirdly shot and quite boring. The actors have absolutely no chemistry together. it's supposed to be a tumlultuos love affair. It's not even luke warm! Wouldn't waste my time. Sorry Keira, i love you, but this one is a bust!
Written January 11, 2013
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, although at times the stylization reminded me of Moulin Rouge (which is one movie I truly dislike), but the costumes and acting were so well-done that I was able to enjoy the film and the story. My friend was in tears at the end (I am not so emotional as she) and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
I love the quote from the Countess in the early part of the film: "I'd rather say I wish I hadn't than I wish I had." (Which is ironic by the end of the story.)
Written November 19, 2012
Settle in for this groundbreaking extravaganza, which captures almost a thousand pages of Russian epic in about 2 1/2 hours. The costumes alone are enough to keep you enthralled. Amazingly, the bold conceit of depicting the story in a theater, onstage and backstage, a literal metaphor for the glories and constraints of life in 19th century Moscow and St. Petersburg, is in itself thrilling -- besides, as the story swoops from scene to scene like some mad waltz, from time to time, a door opens and we find ourselves confronted with the breathtaking literal vastness of the Russian countryside. You never know where you'll find yourself next. Meanwhile, a ravishing Keira Knightly appears in gown after fabulous gown, each a rich solid color reflecting her current passionate emotion. Her face, often shot in extreme closeup, registers her every thought. Surrender to this movie, and its images will stay with you for a long, long time.
Written March 31, 2015
It's a crying shame when what is basically a lovely movie, with some of the most gorgeous cinematography and art direction is years, is soured by a horribly-miscast leading role. I refer to Aaron Taylor-Johnson's effeminate and creepy Count Vronsky...looking like the blonde twin of the Colorado Mass Shooter. How on earth can we believe that this creep was the cause of Anna's downfall? The movie started beautifully with the opera-house concept then quickly took a nosedive the moment that Vronsky appears. Additionally, I did not care for some of the odd choreography and wavy hand movements by ballroom dancers in the background -- were they trying to dance the hula? Most distracting. But the worst thing was Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky. His looks and manner just 'kill' the story.